I Am Autism

I Am Autism

You don’t know me.

You see me sit, rocking.
You hear me talk to myself,
Repeating phrases from the TV.
You watch my hands as they flap
And touch. Seemingly random,
My patterns escape your notice.

You don’t know me.

You see me on the edges,
Quiet, listening but not speaking.
You hear my outbursts:
Violent eruptions of sound and motion.
You note my non-compliance
With black marks in your ledgers.

You don’t know me.

You try to change me,
Remake me in your own image.
You teach me that I am broken.
You punish me for being myself.
You make me fearful and anxious,
Afraid to break your rules.
You drive me deep inside myself.

You don’t know me.

You don’t empathize with me.
You don’t learn about me.
You don’t try to understand me.
You fear me, hurt me, hate me.
You don’t love me: if you did,
You would accept me as I am.

You don’t know me.
You don’t know Autism.

7 thoughts on “I Am Autism

  1. Reblogged this on bunnyhopscotch and commented:
    A poweful piece by Alex Forshaw. I couldn’t have said this better. Until the people researching autism and making claims of enormous success for their various therapies and programmes actually KNOW US, and are able to empathise with our parallel embodied paradigms, the data being gathered based on non-autistic paradigms will be just that. Everything about us without us. Nothing more. I myself have taken part in such data-based studies, I have voiced my concerns about the glaringly obvious (to me) inaccuracies, I have been ignored, and the study has been published, presented as fact at autism conferences and added to the vast body of data-based evidence telling the world who I am supposed to be without wanting to listen to me. What is the value of your data if your pedagogies and perspectives blithely disregard the very people you purport to be helping?
    “You don’t know me.” Until you do.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.